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Slow Cooked Porchetta Salad

Slow Cooked Porchetta Salad

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Presenting high-quality, fresh dishes at an affordable price, Tender Greens currently has 12 restaurant locations across California and is expected to expand to 20 locations by 2016. There's something for everyone at Tender Greens that tastes good and is good for you, so it's no wonder why first time guests are immediately transformed into longtime fans. In addition to their core offerings, Tender Greens also presents daily specials, created by the executive chef at each restaurant location. Imagined by Executive Chef Rian Brandenburg of Tender Greens' Santa Monica location, you may find a recipe for the Slow Cooked Porchetta Salad below, made with herbs, citrus and fresh cut pork.


*Ask your butcher for a skin-on pork belly that’s just long and wide enough to wrap around a trimmed, center-cut pork loin


Porchetta Preparation

  • 1 center cut of pork (belly and loin)*
  • 2 Tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
  • 2 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • Zest of 4 lemons
  • ½ cup chicken stock

Salad Preparation

  • 10 -12 heads baby organic lettuces (Or substitute butter or romaine lettuce and decrease amount)
  • 2 cups pitted nicoise olives
  • 1 Cup fresh grated parmesan cheeses
  • Kosher salt
  • Olive oil & Spanish sherry vinegar
  • 15-20 pieces of whole fingerling potatoes

Slow-Roasted Porchetta

One week prior to cooking, brine the pork (note: you can ask your butcher to brine the leg for you, or do it yourself). Dissolve 3 cups salt in 2 gallons cold water in a 5-gallon bucket. After the salt is dissolved, add ice to bring the water up to the 3-gallon mark to ensure that the brine is very cold. Place the whole pork leg in the brine and refrigerate for up to a week. (If refrigerator space is a consideration, a sturdy 5-gallon bag, sealed tightly, would also work.) I like to change the brine every couple of days, using up to 9 cups of salt.

The night before serving the pork, preheat the oven to 450°F. Remove the leg from the brine and allow it to air dry, or pat dry with paper towels. With a sharp paring knife, make parallel incisions about 1 inch apart down the length of the pork, cutting through the skin and fat of the leg almost to the meat. Repeat, covering the entire skin side of the leg with the incisions.

Lightly toast the fennel seeds in a dry large nonstick pan over medium heat until just fragrant let cool. In a food processor, pulse the cooled fennel seeds, garlic, red pepper flakes, and the 1 tablespoon salt until roughly chopped. Generously press the spice mixture into the incisions in the leg.

Place the leg of pork in a roasting pan and roast for 45 minutes. The pork should be deep golden brown in color and very aromatic. Mix the lemon juice with the oil and pour over the browned pork leg. Turn the oven down to 225°F and continue to roast for about 12 hours. Baste with the pan juices every few hours, if you like, or just leave it to cook. In the morning I usually baste the pork a few times. Check the pork frequently after 11 hours the meat should fall off the bone and the skin should be a deep golden brown. Reserve 1 cup of the pan juices for the vinaigrette for the Fresh Pea and Fennel Salad, if you'd like.

To serve, remove the crackling skin and then pull the meat with a fork into long pieces. Drizzle the pork with the remaining pan juices, or serve the jus on the side. Serve the crackling skin, cracking it into pieces if you wish, as a garnish with the pork (some think it is the best part).

Slow-Cooked Porchetta-Style Roast

Porchetta—highly seasoned, deboned, stuffed and roasted whole pig—is a marketplace staple in many parts of Italy. Here is a simplified home-cooked version that still has all the flavors of the original. Serve it as a main course or stuffed inside crusty rolls for lunch. The pork must be refrigerated overnight before cooking, so place an order with the butcher today for a butterflied pork shoulder and plan to make this for a dinner party later this week.

Slow-Cooked Porchetta-Style Roast

3 Tbs. fennel seeds, toasted

1 boneless pork shoulder, about 3 1/2 lb. (1.75 kg), butterflied by the butcher

4 Tbs. (2 fl. oz./60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tbs. minced fresh rosemary, plus 1 or 2 sprigs for garnish

2 Tbs. minced fresh sage, plus 1 or 2 sprigs for garnish

2 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest

In a spice grinder or a mini food processor, combine the fennel seeds, salt, and peppercorns and grind finely.

Lay the pork shoulder open on a cutting board. Drizzle 2 Tbs. of the olive oil over the pork and rub to coat the entire surface. Sprinkle half of the fennel mixture over the pork, then sprinkle the garlic, minced rosemary and sage, and lemon zest on top. Roll up the pork and tie securely with kitchen string at 1-inch (2.5-cm) intervals. Rub the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil over the outside of the pork and sprinkle with the remaining fennel mixture.

Place the pork on a rack set inside a roasting pan. Refrigerate, uncovered, overnight. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Preheat an oven to 275°F (135°C).

Roast the pork, uncovered, until the top is deeply browned, the meat is fork-tender throughout, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 160° to 170°F (71° to 77°C), about 3 1/2 hours. Remove from the oven, tent with aluminum foil and let rest for at least 15 minutes. Remove the kitchen string, slice the roast thinly or thickly, and transfer the slices to a serving platter. Spoon the pan juices on top and garnish wit the rosemary and sage sprigs. Serves 8 to 10.


Find more recipes like this one in our enticing collection of authentic dishes made modern, Rustic Italian, by Domenica Marchetti.

Porchetta with Wilted Arugula and Warm Dates

What could be tastier than wrapping pork in more pork? Besides adding great flavor, the prosciutto gives the pork loin a crispy exterior and holds in moisture during roasting in this easy sheet pan dinner. Be sure to toss the arugula with the meat juices on the pan, which will add depth to this wilted salad.

Porchetta with Wilted Arugula and Warm Dates


  • 1 boneless pork loin (about 3 1/2 lb./1.75 kg), butterflied
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 oz./90 g) fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh sage
  • 1 Tbs. fennel seeds
  • 4 Tbs. (2 fl. oz./60 ml) olive oil
  • 10 thin slices prosciutto
  • 5 oz. (155 g) baby arugula
  • 1 cup (8 oz./230 g) dates, pitted and halved

1. Preheat an oven to 450°F (230°C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

2. Lay the pork loin, cut side up, on a work surface, and season with salt and pepper. In a bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, garlic, rosemary, sage, fennel seeds and 2 Tbs. of the oil, and season with salt and pepper. Spread the bread crumb mixture in an even layer over the pork, leaving a 1-inch (2.5-cm) border uncovered.

3. Lay the prosciutto on another work surface, overlapping the slices to form a bed wide and long enough that will completely enclose the pork loin. Starting with a long side, roll up the pork loin and place it, seam side up, on top of the prosciutto. Keeping one hand on the pork so that it doesn’t unroll, wrap the prosciutto around it, taking care that the prosciutto adheres to the meat. Carefully place the pork, seam side down, in the center of the prepared pan. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 25 minutes.

4. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F (150°C) and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat registers 145°F (63°C), about 45 minutes longer.

5. Just before removing the pork from the oven, in a bowl, toss together the arugula, dates and the remaining 2 Tbs. oil, and season with salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately scatter the arugula mixture all around the pork the arugula will wilt from the residual heat. Let the pork rest for 10 minutes.

6. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and cut into slices. Place the arugula and dates on a platter and top with the pork. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Recipe adapted from Williams Sonoma Sheet Pan Suppers Cookbook, by Kate McMillan

Step 4: Prepare the Pork Loin and assemble the porchetta:

This pork loin is going to be slathered with those bright, savory mix of spices and herbs and taste amazing in the porchetta!

Lay the pork loin on the workspace and open it up like a book. Now, spread that flavor-packed spice/herb mix over the entire surface. Be sure to work it into all the crevices so the flavor will permeate the flesh. Using a microplane, zest the orange peel over the seasoned pork loin.

Next, roll the loin lengthwise, into a tight cylinder and place it on the center of the seasoned pork belly.

Wrap the pork belly around the loin so that the ends of the pork belly meet and fully enclose the pork loin. An extra set of hands can hold the compact roll in place while you use the meat needle and kitchen twine to sew along the edges. If you are doing this without an assistant you can insert long wooden skewers at intervals along the porchetta to hold it in place as you sew up the seam.

A Delicious Italian-Style Pork Delicacy

Near our home, we have a wonderful little European deli that carries all sorts of phenomenal meats and cheeses. Years back I had sampled their thinly-sliced porchetta (pronounced por-keh-tah) and enjoyed it thoroughly on freshly baked bread from the little bakery next door to the deli.

Traditionally, porchetta is Italian roasted pork prepared by using an entire pig, liberally seasoned with lots of aromatic ingredients such as fresh rosemary, thyme, parsley, fennel, garlic and lemon zest, then slow-roasted over a wood fire for eight hours or more until the meat is rich and juicy, and utterly falling apart.

But since roasting an entire pig is not really a viable option for those of us who are home cooks, I've created my scrumptious porchetta recipe to be a much more simplified and scaled down version that will feed a handful of folks as opposed to a small army.

My porchetta makes use of rich, marbled pork shoulder (or Boston butt) with its fatty top that becomes nice and crispy and caramelized as traditional porchetta does, only in much smaller size.

I also liberally season my porchetta with a wonderfully fragrant mixture of garlic, fennel, rosemary, thyme, parsley, plus lemon zest, for absolutely mouthwatering results made easy.

Sliced nice and thin, this porchetta roast is absolutely divine when layered between slices of fresh bread to make a sandwich, or even enjoyed with roasted potatoes or a green salad as a main meal!

My Easy Porchetta Recipe

As I mentioned above, the classic Italian preparation for making porchetta is to use an entire pig, which is certainly a challenge in a home kitchen, to put it mildly.

Another popular way to prepare porchetta is to use a combination of pork belly and a pork loin, which is delicious, but still can end up being quite large and cumbersome to work with, especially if you're looking for a smaller roast that is easier to handle.

For an easy porchetta recipe, the perfect cut of pork is pork shoulder (or Boston butt), because it can be butterflied and opened up, and then spread generously with all of those fantastic aromatic ingredients, rolled up jellyroll-style and tied with the fat side facing outward, and roasted to fantastically flavorful results.

One thing that is recommended when preparing porchetta (any version of it), and which I like to do as well, is to allow the seasoned and rolled pork to rest, uncovered, in the fridge for 24 hours (or at least overnight), or even up to 48 hours.

This “open air” method allows the pork to sort of cure in the fridge and dry the outer part so that it becomes caramelized once roasted at the higher temperature. This method also allows additional time for those aromatic ingredients to really permeate the pork.

The "curing" is not absolutely necessary (you can totally prep and roast this porchetta and skip that step), but I like to incorporate it into my method here for added flavor.

Here's a peek at my porchetta recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe. )

  1. To get started, I place my pork shoulder vertically on a cutting board with the fatty side down. I butterfly the shoulder by cutting most of the way through the center, though not all the way through. I open the pork up like a book, then make smaller cuts into each side of the meat, butterflying it further (again, not all the way through), until the pork shoulder lays flat and open on the cutting board, with the fat side down.
  2. Next, I liberally rub my seasoning ingredients all over the butterflied pork shoulder, salting and peppering it well. Then, I carefully roll up the pork (rolling the shorter ends), and tie every couple of inches with kitchen twine to secure the porchetta.
  3. I place the porchetta onto a large plate or platter into the fridge, uncovered, and allow it to cure for 24 hours.
  4. After 24 hours, I bring the porchetta to room temperature for a couple of hours, then roast it at 425° for 45 minutes, then reduce the temp to 325° and roast further until the internal temp reaches 190°, roughly another 1 hour and 35 minutes, depending on your oven.
  5. I allow the porchetta to rest for about 15-20 minutes before I thinly slice it and enjoy.

How to Make Roast Porchetta Recipe with Crispy Skin

You don’t have to be Italian to love the taste of tender, juicy porchetta. It’s um-um-good and a dish that seldom has leftovers very long, since it’s just as good cold as it is freshly cooked.

You make porchetta from pork belly and if you’ve cooked it properly, it will have delectably crisp skin but be so tender it almost melts in your mouth.

Crispy in the outside tender in the inside

I hadn’t cooked or even tasted it before a friend emailed me a recipe. Not being much of a pork roast fan, I was reluctant to make it. Instead, I put it in my recipe file in my email and forgot it.

It wasn’t until that same friend invited me to dinner and served porchetta, did I realize that the recipe was almost worth its weight in gold. OMG! It was so good, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

There’s nothing difficult about making porchetta, but it is time-consuming, curing time, no preparation time. First, you must start with a whole pork belly that has the skin still on it, then rub salt into the meat and rub the skin with baking soda.

Put the meat in the fridge to allow the salt to work it’s magic overnight. The rest of the process is relatively easy. You take the meat out, score it with a razor making lines that create small squares on the back, and expose the fat.

Lay the fat, scored side down, and add the layer of seasoning/stuffing on the top of the meat. The stuffing consists of garlic, fennel seed, rosemary, and lemon zest. You roll the meat as you might a bedroll and tie it neatly with string.

You may need to cut it to fit into the oven. Roast the roll or rolls at 400 degrees and you’ll end up with the perfect porchetta that really only took fifteen minutes of preparation and a little forethought.

It’s not really quick, but it doesn’t take much effort and that’s a huge selling factor for me. Once you taste it, you probably would make it even if it took all day. I know I would. Yummers, it’s so good!

Slow Cooked Porchetta Salad - Recipes

This amazing, fantastic, totally delicious recipe (did I mention we liked it) comes from Lisa over Jersey Girl Cooks. Lisa is another one of those bloggers who is always making meals that I want to make too. Her blog is always such a fun read & she got to go see Martha live, lucky her. 

When she posted this recipe for pork cooked in a crockpot last week I couldn't resist making it. The herb rub just sounded amazing & you know how much we love pork. This was super simple to make, once the pork has been seared in a pan you just let it sit in the crockpot the rest of the afternoon.

We stuck right to Lisa's recipe except we used a small boneless pork loin so ours took a lot less time to cook. Oh man, was this every tasty. We loved it for dinner & then again the next day for sandwiches. The meat is so flavorful from the herb rub that we didn't even put anything else on the sandwiches.

3 cloves garlic
1 T fresh rosemary
1/4 c fresh flat Italian parsley
1/2 T kosher salt
1/4 T lemon pepper
1/2 T dried oregano
1/2 T fennel seed
1/4 T onion powder
pinch of red pepper flakes
2 T olive oil
2 T canola oil
1 1/4 lb boneless pork loin
1/4 c white wine
1/4 c chicken broth

Process the garlic, rosemary, parsley, salt, pepper. oregano, fennel, onion powder, red pepper flakes & olive oil in a small food processor until they form a paste. Add water if it seems a little dry.

Cut a few 1-inch slits in the pork & stuff some of the herb rub in them. Rub 1/2 of the remaining rub all over the pork.

Heat the canola oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Add the pork to the pan & brown on all sides. When brown remove the pork to the crockpot & smear with remaining herb paste. Pour the wine & chicken broth into the sauté pan to deglaze it & let boil for about 5 minute. Pour this mixture over the pork in the crockpot. Cover & cook on high for about 3 - 4 hours or until tender (Our pork was tender in 3 hours so we turned it to low & let it stay in the crockpot another hour.)

Pull the pork apart to serve. Add a little of the sauce from the crockpot to moisten the meat if you wish.

We served the pork with some roasted beets over wilted spinach & roasted carnival squash. Such a great meal!

Authentic Italian Porchetta Recipe


Inspired by Bottega Roticiani Butcher in Orvieto serves about 20 or more

  • one fresh porchetta roast with the skin (ask your reputable butcher) weighing 8 to 10 lbs
  • Kosher or sea salt (I used Maldon)
  • fresh or dried rosemary
  • wild Tuscan fennel pollen (if you can source it) at least 1 oz, but as you can see, more is better in this case (it is expensive, though) this brand is from Italy’s most famous butcher, (but I bought some locally at a much more reasonable price)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • good quality extra virgin olive oil

Crusty Italian bread rolls (panini) for serving

Prepare the Porchetta

Open the piece of pork onto the butcher paper or clean countertop, skin side down.

Sprinkle generously with the salt.

Then work the salt into the pork.

Next, add the rosemary. We used fresh rosemary as I have a bush in my garden. Whether you use dry or fresh, rub it and crush it between your fingers to release the flavor and/or oil.

Add the freshly ground black pepper all over the porchetta.

Now add the fennel pollen. Sprinkle evenly over the pork, but save a little of the pollen for after the porchetta has been rolled.

Roll the Pork Belly and Tie it.

But as you roll it, sprinkly some salt onto the unseasoned side of the pork.

Keeping the seam side down, start tying the pork. Another pair of hands will make this part immensely easier. There’s no need for fancy ties or sailors’ knots, just wrap, double knot and cut.

Repeat every few inches. The goal is only to keep the porchetta closed, so don’t tie it too tightly, either. As you can see, ours is far from perfect, but unless you’re serving the Queen of England, it won’t matter.

Finish the Preparation and Roast.

Turn the roast seam side up and add more seasonings, including the rest of the fennel pollen to the non-skin parts of the pork which are exposed (including the ends).

Place seam side down on a rack on a roasting pan or baking tray. Cover the ends with aluminum foil and secure with toothpicks.

Drizzle with olive oil and rub all over the skin with your hands. Sprinkle with more salt and rosemary.

Preheat the oven to 400˚F (200˚C).

Place in the hot oven when it comes to temperature and roast for 1 hour, then lower the temperature to 350°F (170°C) and continue to cook for about another 2 hours. Check the center of the roast when it reaches 170°F (76°C) remove from the oven. Take the foil off the ends and place on top of the porchetta, and allow to rest for about 10 minutes.

Using a sharp knife, remove one or two of the pieces of twine.

Cut into slices and serve on crusty Italian rolls, or bread, Italian style!


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